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Give Back NH: Symphony NH

Roger Kalia
Symphony NH

Give Back New Hampshire is a bi-weekly segment that spotlights New Hampshire nonprofit organizations. It airs every other Saturday at 9:35 during Weekend Edition.

Symphony NH recently kicked off its 2021-22 season, welcoming back live in-person audiences for the first time since March 2020.

The following audio postcard features Roger Kalia, music director for Symphony NH.

Kalia: Having an audience with us in the concert hall, it's an amazing experience because we can feel their energy on stage.

So of course, as musicians, professional musicians, we always want to give our very best performance. But when you have an audience, it adds another dimension to everything you feel their energy and that encourages us to play at an even higher level.

There are so many things to look forward to this upcoming season, and the program itself is a very diverse program with a lot of variety works by Frank Ticheli, Mozart, and Gershwin.

So I think everyone would be very familiar with Gershwin's Porgy and Bess — and we're doing a chamber arrangement of the Porgy and Bess opera. It's called Porgy and Bess Fantasy, and we're also performing a work by Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for Winds. And we're opening with a work by Frank Ticheli called Rest for String Orchestra that is meant to honor and pay tribute to those who lost their lives to COVID and celebrate the frontline workers.

So between classical masterworks, premieres, new music, local collaborations, you name it— we're doing a little bit of everything this year.

Some of the things I'm looking forward to is our annual holiday brass concert. I should say we started this actually last year during the pandemic. This is a concert that is filled with holiday music, as well as sacred music by Gabrieli and Morten Lauridsen, and it features the brass musicians of Symphony New Hampshire.

And we're really excited to be performing at three different locations throughout New Hampshire, in Nashua, at the Coptic Church, in Manchester, at the data center. And we're also making our debut in Jaffrey at the Park Theater. So this is a really very important concert for us because we're making those connections throughout the state of New Hampshire.

Now that our audiences are back with us — I'm just very grateful to be the music director of New Hampshire's oldest professional orchestra and as a conductor, you know, it's something that I love making music with people. I love interacting with people, and that's a big part of the job.


HOW TO HELP: Beyond its concert series, Symphony NH also has a community partnership program, which offers music education programs and introduces students to instruments and live performances. You can learn more about upcoming concerts and programs here.

If you have a non-profit organization you think could use some attention, email us: giveback@nhpr.org

Emily has worked for NPR member stations since 2007. Before joining the NHPR staff in 2012, she served as local host for All Things Considered as well as Director of Business and Foundation Support for KUSP, Santa Cruz, CA. While living in Santa Cruz, she also produced 2 weekly music programs Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Free Radio Santa Cruz) and Taste of Honey (KUSP).

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